I was exhausted, spent, cooked. I discovered new levels of physical pain and inner turmoil that I wasn’t even aware existed. My body was pushed beyond any previous limit. My cycling computer suggested 91 hours recovery, I wasn’t arguing.
Paris-Roubaix. The Queen of the Classics. A Sunday in Hell. The ‘Hell of the North’ is one of cycling’s hallowed monuments, a torturous one day race over numerous sectors of numbing cobbles and farm tracks concluding with two laps of the Roubaix velodrome. Rapha organises its own tribute ride, Hell of the North. Now in its eighth year it’s a bone-crunching ride through North London and Hertfordshire finest lanes, farm tracks and off road tracks. All to be completed on a road bike not necessarily designed for the terrain. Three hundred rides take part and for the second year in a row I was one of them.Read more "Hell of the North VIII : Rapha’s Paris Roubaix Tribute"
“He seemed amused to meet someone who would be riding his first race at the age of twenty nine” Tim Krabbé ‘The Rider’
At twenty-eight I’m standing at the side of Lee Valley Velopark road circuit. The purr of bikes on rollers and turbos echoes around me. The kids races are happening now and pushy parents shout support from the edge of the track. I’m nervously waiting to take part in my first bike race. The opener of the CC Hackney Primavera Series a category four criterium race.Read more "My First Race: CC Hackney Primavera Circuit Series"
La Classicissima. La Primavera. Cycling’s first Monument of the season, Milan San Remo, is the longest race in the UCI World tour at 291km. The ‘Sprinter’s Classic’ starts in the metropolitan centre of Milan before winding its way towards the coastal town of San Remo, a series of challenging climbs including the infamous Poggio are followed by a flat sprint finish along the Via Roma. To pay tribute to this one day epic riders from the Rapha Cycling Club rode 167km from central London to Hayling Island.Read more "RCC Milan San Remo Tribute: London to Hayling Island"
Clunk clunk clunk clunk. The sound of the chain pulling the Sandbanks Ferry to Studland vibrates through me. After a close encounter with the side of an Uber taxi a few days previously I thought it was time to escape the craziness of London’s streets and ride the Dorset coastline in the Isle of Purbeck.Read more "Escaping London: Poole to Lulworth Cove"
The Spring Classics Season has begun. The storms are brewing, the winds are howling and the mud is ever present. Whilst the waifish GC men hide in altitude camps, those cyclists forged from granite come out to play on the cobbles and farmlands of Northern Europe. Cycling’s ‘hardmen’ have their moment in the sun (or more likely rain) with a few months of racing in Northern France and Flanders; racing in adverse conditions where only the toughest can triumph. To pay tribute to these early season races, fifty riders from the Rapha Cycling Club ventured to the flatlands of the Fens to ride 115km from Ely to Kings Lynn.Read more "RCC Spring Classics Tribute: A Fenlandrian Epic"
In January, fed up with the cold of winter cycling, I escaped to Lanzarote for a week long training camp in the sunshine. Here I look back at the experience of pushing myself further and higher in a week than ever before.Read more "Lanzarote Winter Training Camp"